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inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham 2014

28 August 2014
This Independent Inquiry was commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in October 2013 to review the extent of child sexual abuse (CSE) perpetrated in the area between 1997 and 2013. The report is damning, highlighting extensive and persistent failures to protect children from serious, repeated sexual abuse. The report is written by Professor Alexis Jay. 

It describes the abuse as "appalling", noting that it included the rape of girls as young as 11 by a large number of male perpetrators. Children were seriously sexually assaulted by multiple attackers, trafficked for sex to other towns and cities and also suffered serious physical and psychological abuse as well. The report makes 15 recommendations which will impact on all agencies focussing on CSE, including those in education. 

Whilst schools and academies were not singled out for particular criticism, the report is likely to lead to changes in the way schools identify and manage CSE. CSE will now be higher on the safeguarding agenda. As a result, additional training will be required for safeguarding professionals in schools and we are very likely to see new guidance to replace the four page 2012 guidance from the DfE which itself refers back to a 96 page guidance document from 2009. Recommendations 5, 6 and 8 – all dealing with the multiagency membership and effective working of joint CSE teams – will impact on schools soon. Sex education may also be in need of an overhaul to ensure the risks of CSE are adequately covered.

Read a full copy of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 

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